Bhubaneswar: Belgium thrashed South Africa 4-1 in their last Pool C match of the men’s hockey World Cup here on SUnday.
The European giants dominated right from the start and simply blew away their opponents with a four-goal blitz in the first two quarters.
Ironically, it were the South Africans who had enjoyed the more promising start as Nick Spooner scored a field goal within the opening minutes to raise visions of an upset.
But Belgium fought back and restored parity through a penalty corner conversion by Alexendar Hendricks in the 12th minute.
The Belgians took the lead six minutes later when Arthur Van Doren and Loïck Luypaert created an excellent move from their own half before a long ball found Simon Gougnard who beat South African goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse with a calm finish.
Hendricks completed his brace off another penalty corner in the 21st minute as the Europeans tightened their grip on the match.
Luypaert scored Belgium’s fourth goal a few seconds before half-time as the title contenders from Europe went into the break with a formidable advantage.